Mon., October 7, 2013 3:58pm (EDT)

Georgia State Parks See Visitor Increase
By Orlando Montoya
Updated: 6 months ago

SAVANNAH, Ga.  —  
Plum Orchard mansion is operated by the National Park Service on Cumberland Island National Seashore.  Visitors wanting to see it can stay in campgrounds a few miles away.  State parks are open and willing to accommodate visitors who have to change their plans because of the government shutdown.  (photo Orlando Montoya)
Plum Orchard mansion is operated by the National Park Service on Cumberland Island National Seashore. Visitors wanting to see it can stay in campgrounds a few miles away. State parks are open and willing to accommodate visitors who have to change their plans because of the government shutdown. (photo Orlando Montoya)
Georgia state parks are seeing spillover from the federal government shutdown.

The US Army Corps of Engineers and the National Park and Forest Services all operate campgrounds in Georgia.

Campers wanting to stay in closed federal facilities are finding state parks open and willing to accommodate.

Red Top Mountain State Park near Atlanta is among those state parks reporting visitors who've come to them because of the shutdown.

State Parks spokeswoman Kim Hatcher says Georgia campgrounds are unaffected by the budget impasse.

"Definitely we're seeing people come to stay at Georgia State Parks if they're not able to stay at some of the Corps of Engineers campgrounds or some of the federal campgrounds," says Hatcher. "So, definitely there's been a little bit of an increase in visitation."

Hatcher says her agency has plenty of campsites, cabins and yurts for those who need to modify travel plans because federal facilities are closed.

Brenda Bertroff takes reservations at Mistletoe State Park near Augusta.

She says some campers just didn't know that some campsites are operated by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

"We've had a few campers from the federal Corps not knowing that," says Bettroff. "And we've had some National Forest service folks that had reservations for the National Forest Service come into the park."

Crooked River State Park near Cumberland Island National Seashore also is reporting a slight increase in visitors because of the government shutdown.